French deputies back amendment on women's rights at work
France's parliament voted to amend the country's constitution to include a phrase guaranteeing equal rights for women at work, over government’s objections.28 May 2008
PARIS - France's parliament voted Tuesday to amend the country's constitution to include a phrase guaranteeing equal rights for women at work, over the objections of the government.
Lawmakers in the lower house by a vote of 126 to 88 approved including in the constitution the phrase: "The law supports equal access for men and women to social and professional positions."
A number of deputies from President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party joined with the opposition Socialists in supporting the amendment, in an embarrassing setback to the right-wing government.
French Justice Minister Rachida Dati had called unsuccessfully for the amendment to be withdrawn, arguing that the issue was being debated by a committee studying a potential modification of the constitution's preamble.
Women's rights in the work place has been a contentious issue in France, with studies showing women continue to earn significantly less than their male counterparts.
[AFP / Expatica]